E-letter March 2010

Women's Voices e-letter  

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Women's Voices, our regular e-letter from the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice. In Women's Voices you will find updates and analysis on political developments, the pursuit of justice, the status of peace talks and reconciliation efforts from the perspective of women's rights activists from four conflict situations — Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Darfur and the Central African Republic (CAR). We are working in these contexts because they are the situations under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In addition to Women's Voices, we also produce a regular legal newsletter, Legal Eye on the ICC, with summaries and gender analysis of legal developments, judicial decisions, announcements of arrest warrants and victims' participation before the Court, particularly as these issues relate to the prosecution of gender-based crimes.

With both online e-letters we will also update you about the programmes, legal and political advocacy, campaigns, events, and publications of the Women's Initiatives.

More information about the work of Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice and previous issues of Women's Voices and the Legal Eye can be found on our website at www.iccwomen.org.

Sudan :: Pre-Trial Chamber I declines to confirm the charges against Darfur rebel Abu Garda

On 8 February 2010, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC unanimously decided not to confirm the charges against the Darfur rebel leader Bahar Idriss Abu Garda. The Chamber held that the Office of the Prosecutor failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Abu Garda could be held criminally responsible, either directly or indirectly as co-perpetrator, for the commission of war crimes.

Abu Garda, who voluntarily appeared in front of the ICC in 2009 to attend hearings in the case, was charged with three counts of war crimes: violence to life, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, and pillaging. As the senior member and leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), he was accused of having planned the attack carried out on 29 September 2007 in North Darfur against the African Union peace-keeping Mission in Sudan (AMIS) stationed at Haskanita, in which 12 peacekeepers were killed.

The Pre-Trial Chamber added that the Prosecution can request confirmation of the charges at a later date, if the request is supported by additional evidence. The Office of the Prosecutor has announced it will appeal this decision.


Sudan :: Appeals Chamber orders Pre-Trial Chamber I to rule again on President Al-Bashir's charge of genocide

On 3 February 2010, judges of the Appeals Chamber of the ICC unanimously decided that Pre-Trial Chamber I had to reconsider its decision on whether the charge of genocide should be included in the Arrest Warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

On 4 March 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued an arrest warrant against Al-Bashir for seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including rape. However, it refused to issue the warrant for the count of genocide based on acts including rape. The Chamber found that insufficient evidence was provided by the Prosecutor with respect to that charge. To read more about the arrest warrant against Al-Bashir, please see the May 2009 issue of the Legal Eye on the ICC.

The presiding Judge Erkki Kourula explained that the Appeals Chamber decision was based on the Pre-Trial Chamber's application of an incorrect standard of proof for the arrest warrant stage of the procedure, using a standard of proof that was too high. At the same time, the Appeals Chamber declined to add the charge of genocide to the arrest warrant, as requested by the Prosecutor, instead returning the matter to the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide anew.

The Minister of Information and Government spokesperson, Kamal Obeid, described the decision as an attempt to impact the elections in Sudan, which are due to be held in April, and the ongoing Darfur peace negotiations in Doha. On the contrary, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) welcomed the ICC decision.

On 20 February 2010 in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, the Government of Sudan signed a ceasefire with JEM. The agreement was reached under the mediation of the Chadian President Idriss Deby who, on 8 February, went to Khartoum for talks on Darfur with President Al-Bashir. The deal with JEM includes a framework for further talks and the cancellation of death sentences for 100 JEM fighters, but it is not a permanent peace agreement. The definitive ceasefire and framework deal, listing agreements to be fleshed out in further negotiation, was signed by the Sudanese President and JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim in Qatar's capital Doha on 23 February 2010. The news agency Reuters reported that, according to documents setting out the terms of negotiations, Sudan will offer JEM some Government positions as part of a final peace deal. Leaders of both sides promised that the final agreement will be reached by 15 March 2010.


Uganda :: Women arrested while demonstrating against the Electoral Commission

On 18 January 2010, at least 35 demonstrators, all of them women, were taken into police custody following a march against the Electoral Commission (EC) in Kampala. Women from the opposition parties, acting under the umbrella of 'Inter-Party Cooperation', mobilised for the first time against the reappointment of the members of the Commission, marching to its premises to demand the resignation of its Chairman, Engineer Badru Kiggundu, and his fellow Commissioners.

The Chair and the other members of the EC were reappointed last year despite the widespread irregularities that took place when the same Commissioners oversaw elections in 2006. The opposition strongly protested their reappointment and demanded the re-composition of the EC before the presidential elections of 2011.

All the women in the demonstration were wearing a black t-shirt with the words 'women for peace' written across it in white. They were able to enter the EC facilities despite the heavy presence of police forces around the building. Media reported that Ms Ingrid Turinawe, the chairperson of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Women's League and one of the demonstrators, declared, 'We have come here to express our dissatisfaction with Mr Kiggundu and his team. You cannot chase us from here because it is our constitutional right. We are not inciting violence but just want to articulate our grievances with the EC as concerned women of Uganda.'

At least 35 women participating in the demonstration were taken into police custody. The women were loaded onto police pick-up trucks and taken to Jinja Road and Central Police stations. According to the women, the police officers 'forcefully loaded us on vehicles like sacks of beans even when we had voluntarily accepted arrest' and 'some officers were undressing us and touching our thighs as they loaded us on their vehicles'.

Mr Wandera Ogalo, Secretary for Legal Affairs of the FDC, accused the police of denying the women who were held in custody access to their lawyers. He claimed that about 40 women were arrested, although people who visited the police station reported seeing 35 women detained. The police would not reveal where the other five detainees were being held. The Director of Police Operations, Mr Grace Turyagumanawe, said that the women did not have the permission to demonstrate at the EC office. He added that the ones taken into custody are likely to be charged with criminal trespass, unlawful assembly and inciting violence.

The Women's Initiatives will continue to monitor the detention of the protestors and other activities by women activists in the events leading up to the 2011 elections in Uganda.


DRC :: Operation Kimia II ends, Operation Amani Leo begins with MONUC's continued support

On 31 December 2009, the Congolese Government declared that the military operation code-named Kimia II had been completed and that a new operational phase, Amani Leo, would begin on 1 January 2010. Kimia II was officially launched on 2 March 2009 with the aim of forcibly disarming and neutralising the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Rwandan Hutu militia group active in the Kivu provinces since 1994. The operation followed the arrest on 22 January 2009 of Laurent Nkunda, leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), by Rwandan authorities and the consequent declaration by Bosco Ntaganda, former chief-of-staff of the CNDP and wanted by the ICC since 2006, that the section of CNDP under his control would cooperate with the Congolese army (FARDC) in its operations against the FDLR. CNDP members were integrated in the FARDC after the signing of the 23 March 2009 Goma agreement between the Congolese Government and CNDP.

Kimia II was criticised by several Congolese and international organisations for the high number of civilian casualties and human rights abuses, including gender-based violence, suffered by civilians during the operation. The Congo Advocacy Coalition calculated that 'for every rebel combatant disarmed during the operation, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses burned and destroyed, and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes'. MONUC's support of Kimia II was also strongly criticised amid allegations of serious human rights violations, including several incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, perpetrated by the FARDC against the civilian population. The government declared that the top priority of Amani Leo, which means 'Peace Now' in Swahili, is the protection of the civilian population, especially women and children. Amani Leo also aims to secure the areas that were liberated from the FDLR and other armed groups, and to strengthen the authority of the Congolese Government in the eastern provinces.

On 23 December 2009, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1906 extending MONUC's mandate through 31 May 2010, including the logistical support to FARDC units involved in this new phase of the military operation in eastern DRC. Resolution 1906 stresses that the protection role of MONUC should be given priority over any other task included in its mandate. The Security Council also reiterates that, as already declared by its previous Resolution 1856, MONUC's support to FARDC-led operations will be 'strictly conditioned on FARDC's compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law' and that 'MONUC military leadership shall confirm, prior to providing any support to such operations, that sufficient joint planning has been undertaken, especially regarding the protection of the civilian population'. The Security Council requested that a zero-tolerance policy towards human rights violations perpetrated by the FARDC, including sexual and gender-based violence, be implemented by the Congolese Government. The Resolution also establishes the need for an enhancement of MONUC's activities in relation to the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of Congolese armed groups and the disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of foreign armed groups.

Resolution 1906 makes reference to the 23 March 2009 Peace Agreements between the Congolese Government and the CNDP and other armed groups active in North and South Kivu as the 'appropriate framework for stabilising the situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo'.

The Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice expressed concerns about the 23 March Agreements in the the Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General supported by 65 NGOs from eastern DRC representing over 180 Congolese organisations (see May 2009 issue of Women's Voices). More specifically, the absence of provisions for a vetting mechanism and the lack of requirement for formal training of CNDP police and soldiers prior to integration into the regular armed forces, raised concerns about the possible future commission of crimes of sexual violence by former militia members who had committed such acts with impunity in the past. In addition the Peace Agreement allows for the possibility that the national Amnesty Law could be applied to perpetrators of gender-based crimes in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1820. With this Peace Agreement the UN also appears to have failed to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 by not including women in the Goma Peace Process that was sponsored, and directly co-facilitated, by the United Nations. The emphasis by the UN Security Council in Resolution 1906 on this Peace Agreement as the 'appropriate framework' for reaching stability in eastern DRC is therefore a major reason for concern in the development of the Amani Leo operation.

The operational goals of the new phase of the operation against the FDLR have been set out in a directive jointly signed by FARDC Chief-of-Staff, General Didier Etumba and MONUC Force Commander, Lt General Babacar Gaye. The latter ensured that the protection of the civilian population was at the core of the joint planning. The jointly signed operational directive contains several agreed upon measures intended to ensure the respect of human rights by FARDC members, such as the deployment of Military Police at the battalion level to enforce a policy of zero-tolerance towards human rights violators. The joint operational directive also provides for a new training programme for selected FARDC battalions and for the removal of all child soldiers from the FARDC and other armed groups.

Despite the emphasis put on the protection of civilians by both FARDC and MONUC, one of the the Women's Initiatives' partners in eastern DRC declared in an email to us on 21 January 2010 that 'the situation remains the same, according to the analyses of the women here, the name [of the operation] was changed, but the people and objectives remain the same, and this is the obstacle'. This same partner reports the 'entry of foreigners from Rwanda' into eastern DRC and the continued harassment of women by members of FARDC units integrated by former militiamen. She comments that 'in general peace seems to be far from our provinces and this war is still feminised because men take up the arms, but women are the victims'.

The Women's Initiatives calls on the Congolese Government to rigorously apply the announced zero-tolerance policy towards members of the regular Congolese Army responsible for sexual and gender-based violence. MONUC needs to effectively monitor the implementation of this policy and to withdraw its support of the operation if human rights violations, in particular sexual and gender-based crimes, continue to be perpetrated by members of the Congolese army with impunity. FARDC members responsible for rape and other forms of sexual violence must be prosecuted and immediately removed from the army. Finally, the training programmes referred to in the joint operational directive should be addressed to all the battalions involved in Amani Leo, not only to selected battalions, and should include extensive training on sexual and gender-based violence, its consequences and impact on the victims and their communities.

The Women's Initiatives and partners will continue to closely monitor the developments of this new military operation in the Kivus with special attention to the situation of women and girls.


DRC :: UN expert urges Judges not to neglect girl soldiers in the Lubanga trial

On 7 January 2010, Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, was called to give expert testimony by the ICC in the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. Lubanga is the alleged leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and is on trial facing charges of conscripting and enlisting children and using them to participate actively in hostilities in the Ituri province of eastern DRC during 2002 and 2003. Ms Coomaraswamy was called as an expert witness after submitting an amicus curiae in March 2008 on the use of children by armed forces during conflicts.

During her testimony, Ms Coomaraswamy emphasised the importance of the Lubanga trial, which is the first international case focusing exclusively on child soldiers. She then urged the Judges not to exclude from their ruling children that were not participating actively in the fighting, but who were used to perform domestic chores or forced into sexual slavery. Ms Coomaraswamy underlined that the current definition of child soldiers, with its emphasis on active involvement in fighting, is limited and can exclude girl soldiers who, after being abducted and forcibly enlisted, may not take direct part in the fighting, but who experience sexual slavery, repeated rapes, forced marriages and forced pregnancies.

Since 2006, the Women's Initiatives has advocated with the Office of the Prosecutor for the investigation and prosecution of gender-based crimes committed by the UPC, including against girl soldiers within their own ranks. Based on our documentation and analysis, we advocate the position that rape and other forms of sexual violence were an integral component of the process of enlistment and conscription for girls, particularly during the initial abduction phase and period of military training by the UPC.

At least 21 of the 25 witnesses called by the Prosecution in the Lubanga trial have testified about girl soldiers and 15 witnesses also gave testimony about gender-based crimes, in particular rape and sexual slavery. In May 2009 the legal representatives of victims participating in the case filed a request for the Trial Chamber to consider modifying the legal characterisation of facts to include cruel and inhuman treatment and sexual slavery in the charges. The majority of Trial Chamber I found that reconsideration of the charges was possible, but their ruling was later overturned by the Appeals Chamber on 8 December 2009.


Sudan :: Silva Kashif's story

Silva Kashif is a 16-year old girl from South Sudan now living in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum. In November 2009 she was convicted under Article 152 of the Penal Code and lashed 50 times for wearing a skirt below the knee, which showed part of her legs. Article 152, in effect since 1991, stipulates that any conduct or clothing in violation of public decency is subject to a punishment of 40 lashes. However punishment by lashing is illegal for anyone under 18 years of age and, as stipulated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, this provision cannot be applied to non-Muslims. Silva is Christian and therefore not punishable under Article 152. Silva's trial is the second high profile case brought under Article 152 of the Penal Code, the first being the trial of the journalist Lubna Hussein last July. Read more about Lubna's case in the October 2009 issue of Women's Voices.

On 23 January 2010, the Women's Initiatives was able to interview Silva Kashif by telephone. Here is her story:

I was on my way to buy some vegetables from the market near my house. It was around midday and I was wearing a skirt and a blouse. My skirt was below the knee. On my way to the market I passed by the public order offices of the area where I live and no-one commented on my dress. While going to the market, I realised that someone had been following and harassing me for some time. I was not sure if he came out of the public order offices. I turned and asked him what he wanted from me. In the meanwhile, people around started noticing what was happening, and when he realised he had the attention of the people, he strongly pulled my hand and told me that he was going to open a case against me for dressing indecently. I was not expecting him to tell me that, because I was not wearing indecent clothing. I was embarrassed by the way he was pulling me, as if I was a criminal.

In the police station, the procedures went very fast. One hour after my arrival at the police station, I was already convicted and sent home. I was not allowed to call my family; they took my phone away and turned it off.

On the same day as she was taken to the police station, Silva also had to appear in court.

In the court, the judge did not give me any chance to explain or defend myself, he only asked me my name, where I lived and about my tribe. I told him that I just came from Alrank town in South Sudan and I did not know that what I was wearing could be considered indecent here. I told him that I am a Christian, but he was not listening to me, he kept on writing. In the end, the judge also made a comment about women's general behavior, saying 'you girls, you have annoyed us'.

The man who pulled me from the street became a witness and I realised that his friend had filed the case against me. I was convicted and sentenced to 50 lashes. The judge called four women and closed the door. He sat on a chair and I sat on a bench facing him. One of the women started flogging me. After she lashed me three or five times, I do not remember, he shouted that her whip was not strong enough and that they needed to change it and bring another one. The women went out and came back with a stronger whip and then flogged me 50 times. It was painful.

I cannot describe my feelings about this judge, he was really unfair and he did not give me the chance to defend myself. I did not have any open wounds as the result of flogging, but many scars that my mother treated with local herbs.

Silva Kashif's lawyer, Azhari al-Haj, is preparing a case against the police and the judge for arresting and sentencing an underage girl. Talking to the media, he declared, 'She was wearing a normal skirt and blouse, worn by thousands of girls. They didn't contact a guardian and punished her on the spot.'  Al-Haj said he was hoping to win compensation and to clear Silva's record. He added, 'We are also against the law itself. We want the law to be changed.'

Silva informed the Women's Initiatives that after the punishment was provided, and following her lawyer's appeal, the Appeals Court approved the sentence, but it found that she should have received 40, not 50 lashes. She commented, 'I am really very confused and I don't know how this could happen after I have been already flogged 50 times.' Silva said that she would like the international community to push for the removal of this unfair conviction from her record. She also said she is looking for compensation. She reports she is not able to go to the market as she feels stigmatised and people 'tell stories' about her. At one of the universities in Khartoum, the College of Communication Science, two groups have formed in response to this case, one in favor and one against her.

The 'No to Oppression of Women' initiative, a voluntary group formed to support Lubna Ahmed Hussein and to protest against Article 152, is also trying to support Silva. During the first week of January 2010, the group organised a forum with the cooperation of the Ajrass Alhurria daily newspaper addressing Silva's case. The forum was entitled 'Is Silva's trial going to be the end of the Public Order Law (Article 152)?' The forum was widely attended by civil society, women's organisations, women's activists and journalists.


DRC/South Sudan :: UN issues reports on the LRA attacks in the DRC and South Sudan

On 21 December 2009, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released two reports detailing the LRA's activities in eastern DRC and South Sudan between the end of 2008 and the first months of 2009.

Prepared by the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), the report on the DRC focuses on attacks perpetrated by the LRA in Orientale province between September 2008 and June 2009. According to the report, attacks always followed the same modus operandi, which included abductions, killings, rapes and destruction of property. Attacks were extremely brutal against communities that were thought to be supporting military operations against the LRA as well as MONUC's efforts towards the demobilisation of LRA's fighters. Provisional figures included in the report show that the toll of these attacks is estimated to be extremely high, with 1200 civilians killed, 1400 abductions including at least 630 children and 400 women, and thousands of public buildings and private houses destroyed. It is estimated that over 200,000 people were displaced in Orientale province as a consequence of the LRA's activities in the area.

The report on South Sudan, based on the work of human rights officers working for the UN Mission in Sudan, focuses on 30 LRA attacks against the civilian population of the Western and Central Equatoria States that took place between 15 December 2008 and 10 March 2009. The report documents the killing of at least 81 civilians and the abduction of 74, of whom 18 were children. The number of rapes, although unknown, is presumed to be very high. The attacks were consistently brutal and were carried out on both women and men of all ages and ethnicities. It is estimated that at least 38,391 people were displaced as a result of these attacks.

Operation Lighting Thunder, a joint Ugandan, Congolese and southern Sudanese military operation against the LRA that started on 15 December 2008, is cited by both reports as the trigger to the splintering of the LRA into different, smaller and extremely mobile units acting in the DRC and South Sudan as well as in the Central African Republic (CAR). The DRC report underlines that the joint military action against the LRA was openly supported by the UN Security Council, but that this support did not take into account the limited capacity of the Congolese army (FARDC) to effectively operate and protect civilians. The UNJHRO declares that 'inviting the Congolese Government to engage in this military operation, without helping it obtain the adequate financial, technical and logistical resources led to human rights violations against the civilian population by the LRA'. The report casts doubts on the effectiveness of the operation, underlining that 'it is far from clear whether the additional suffering caused to civilians … is proportional to the military objectives and results targeted and achieved. This is especially the case when the suffering caused would have been avoided through better planning and better logistical support.'

In March the Greater North Women's Voices for Peace Network (GNWVPN) and the Women's Initiatives were the first groups to publicly call for an end to Operation Lightning Thunder and an immediate ceasefire. On 18 March 2009 the GNWVPN of Uganda and the Women's Initiatives published an Open Letter to President Museveni of Uganda and General Joseph Kony of the LRA, signed by 250 groups representing over 1000 local, national and international women's and human rights organisations. The Open Letter calls for an immediate ceasefire with the following requirements:

  1. That the LRA is provided with safe passage to immediately assemble in the designated area in Ri-Kwang-Ba, South Sudan as outlined in the Peace Agreements.
  2. That the LRA release women and children from their group.
  3. That the Government of Uganda work closely with the United Nations and other international agencies in preparation for the return of the women and children from the LRA to ensure their safety, the provision of treatment, assessment and adequate medical and psychological support, and their ultimate return to their communities. The engagement of women, traditional and religious leaders in this process is also vital.
  4. That the final peace agreement between the Government of Uganda and the LRA is signed.

The lack of protection for the population against LRA attacks by the FARDC in the Congo and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Sudan pushed civilians to create 'self-defence groups'. Both reports recommend that these groups should not be encouraged as they can contribute to increased instability in the region.

The two reports indicate that human rights violations committed by the LRA against the civilian population in the DRC and South Sudan are widespread and systematic and can therefore be considered as crimes against humanity. The DRC report also alleged that these violations amount to war crimes.

The Women's Initiatives calls for the ICC to undertake similar investigations on the attacks against civilians carried out by the LRA in eastern CAR. Women's Initiatives' partners from the Upper Mbomou region participating in the 'Women, Peace, Justice, Power' workshop held in Bangui in November 2009 reported regular and unrestrained LRA attacks in the last 12 months. Attacks were reportedly very violent and included murders, rapes, abductions, pillaging, torture and enslavement, particularly of children and young women and men. On 19 February 2010, the LRA killed two people and abducted 30 from the remote city of Rafai, in south-eastern CAR. Previously CAR military sources said that on 15 February 2010 the LRA attacked the village of Kamandare, close to the border with the DRC, abducting at least 10 people. Since November 2009, the Women's Initiatives and CAR partners have been calling on the ICC to investigate the LRA's activities in eastern CAR, eastern DRC and South Sudan particularly following Operation Lightning Thunder, to reflect the scope and scale of the crimes committed outside Uganda by the LRA.


UN Secretary-General announces the appointment of a new Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict

On 2 February 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Margot Wallström as the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. During a press conference held in New York on 9 February 2010, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said that the appointment is intended as a clear indication of the international community's commitment to ending a crime that devastates the lives of millions of women and children.

The appointment of Ms. Wallström was provided by the UN Security Council Resolution 1888, unanimously adopted on 30 September 2009, to halt the use of sexual violence as a tactic of war. The Resolution, sponsored by 61 countries, demanded 'the complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence with immediate effect', adding that 'effective steps to prevent and respond to such acts of sexual violence can significantly contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security'. Resolution 1888 also provided the creation of a team of experts to help governments in preventing conflict-related sexual violence, strengthening civilian and military justice systems and enhancing aid to victims and ordered the inclusion of women's protection advisers in peacekeeping operations. The full implementation of these provisions is the core mandate of Ms Wallström's mandate.

Ms Wallström, who is also Vice-President of the European Council, expressed her willingness to work closely, during her two-year mandate, with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Field Support and all other stakeholders to end impunity, facilitate a better coordination of the UN system on the issue and bring more attention and action on this critical problem.

Answering to journalists' questions, Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, explained that in the particular situation of the DRC efforts to improve civilian protection, in particular from rape, are ongoing. However, he explained that the 'dramatic' occurrence of sexual violence could have never been stopped by MONUC on its own. Mr Le Roy also added that MONUC is not supporting the 213th Brigade of the regular Congolese army (FARDC), accused of gang rape by Philip Allston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He explained that MONUC supports only units of 16,000 soldiers out of a 100,000-strong army and whenever there was full evidence that a unit had violated human rights, MONUC immediately ended its support.
To read more about MONUC's support to the Congolese army, see the December 2009 issue of Women's Voices.

Read the entire text of the UN Security Council Resolution 1888 at:


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